The Indian team got off to a decent start before stumps on the second day, with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma having reduced the deficit to 56 runs. However, they will hope to prolong the partnership on the third morning, considering that India’s middle-order batsmen have not been in the best of form in the series.
While previewing the third day’s play in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra felt the Virat Kohli-led will have to be careful not to suffer another collapse. He elaborated:
“Both openers have played out the difficult period. If you see both innings at Lord’s, both innings at Leeds and the first innings here, there have been four to five innings where there have been collapses, so India will have to be wary of a collapse.”
On a positive note, the former India opener pointed out that the conditions on the third day are likely to be favorable for batting. Aakash Chopra observed:
“You cannot lie to the man in the mirror. It is a truth that we are having collapses and that there is a vulnerability in our batting but you cannot get better batting conditions than these in England. You can take it in writing.”
The Oval pitch certainly seems to have eased off, with not much lateral movement on offer. The Indians can gain the ascendancy if they successfully negotiate the first session’s play with minimal damage.
“India will still be batting by the end of the day’s play” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra believes Team India will not be dismissed before the close of play on Day 3 if they bat to their potential. He said:
“You need to make the most of it and I feel India will do that. If you have Ollie Pope, we have hope. My expectations from everyone is that if they just realise their potential, I think India will still be batting by the end of the day’s play.”
The 43-year-old signed off by stating that the visitors will have to set a target of more than 250 runs. Aakash Chopra explained:
“Just one thing is there, that if you reach till there, it will not work with 200 this time around. You will have to take a lead of 250-275 runs, so you need to score 400-plus runs in this innings, and the truth is that the Indian team has not scored more than 400 in a Test innings since 2019.”
India’s 493/6 declared in the first Test against Bangladesh in November 2019 was the last time they posted a score in excess of 400 in the longest format of the game.
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